My husband had a wonderful idea last year. He really felt we needed to have an unplugged weekend. We live in an age where electronics, gaming, phones, and computers are EVERYWHERE! These devices have helped us and improved our lives in many ways, but they have also hurt us.
Families don’t talk with each other anymore (or not much), neighbors keep to themselves, and even dinner time that used to be totally unplugged has become a time of checking phones, watching TV, or catching up on daily emails. You can see families struggling to stay off electronics even in restaurants.
I know the struggle-I work from home and it is SO easy to stay plugged in to work ALL DAY if I’m not careful. I’m here to tell you that it is not always easy for me to unplug and I find this to be one of my toughest challenges.
Many families have decided to do life totally unplugged and have done away with it all! Good for them, I’m sure they will probably be way better off! This post, however, is for the ones who may not be ready to go that extreme but still want to have quality times with their families.
My husband started off with a family meeting. I will talk more about family meetings in a future post! He gave us a 2-week warning so we would all know ahead of time (this was especially good for me because I could be caught up with work) we decided we wanted to do 1 full weekend-Friday-Sunday unplugged. We could answer our phone and let the person know we were unplugging for the weekend. We decided to not make phone calls, not use our phones for any other purposes, any TV, computers, or video games.
At first, there were grumbles. However, we stuck to our plan and followed through. My husband planned it all; he wanted it to be a wonderful experience and wanted to plan some things out so that we would use the time to connect as a family.
Some tips for you if you want to plan an unplugged weekend:
1. Have a family meeting-Give fair warning (maybe a couple of weeks) when exactly this is going to take place!
- Plan some fun activities for that time– we played board games, took a long mapped out country drive together, had a picnic outside, read some stories, and just had some great conversations. Here are some other things you could do:
Work a huge puzzle together,
Cook something as a family (you could even plan a whole theme around it)
Play a sport (or just toss)
Do some art/music together
Visit a Museum or Zoo or any scenic place
3. Expect the complaints-chances are the kids will complain. Don’t let it deter you, just keep on with the plan at the end of the weekend, there were NO regrets. My kids LOVED the quality time we spent together. They want YOU more then they want stuff, even if it doesn’t seem like it trust me on this!
4. Turn off notifications– You know all the beeps from the computer or texting-it will just distract you from your goal and remember we made it for years without those beeps-you can do it for one weekend!
5. Have fun and SAVOR this time with your family. The years will go by very quickly, don’t have regrets that you spent so much time plugged in you didn’t enjoy real life or that you allowed your children to be so absorbed with electronics or online they couldn’t enjoy it!
If you love this, I encourage you to have more unplugged weekends (I know we will), maybe even make a certain weekend of the month unplugged! If you plan and schedule it, that will be a great way to make it happen!